Tag Archives: myspace

Social Media Has Come Full Circle

On the surface, this might seem like a think piece on social media and social games. How social media has evolved and devolved to take us back to some sort of cyber grassroots state of loneliness and how we’re all just here to find a connection.


In November of last year, HootSuite published an infographic on “The Evolution of Social Media.” You can check it out here: http://blog.hootsuite.com/evolution-of-social-media-infographic/.

It traces 5 years of social media. 5. Granted, a lot has happened in the last 5 years. The amount of social media users is staggering. People are using social media to innovate, to change the world, to drive business, build brands and other Important Things.

They’re also using it to connect to other people.

When it really comes down to is, the Facebook and Twitter users that companies are trying to hook with compelling content and calls to action are people who, even though they may buy what the companies are selling, are maintaining their online community because it’s their COMMUNITY. The people they interact with are their friends, or at least they are sort of friends, and it becomes very important on a psychological and philosophical level.

This isn’t news. Since AOL launched in 1985, people have used computers to connect to one another. By 1997, they could chat with each other real time. Google was born in 1998 and by 2000 the dot com bubble went kablewy and people were already wondering about the future of the Internet. That was the first year that I, personally, started using the Internet with any frequency.

I know, right? Late bloomer for sure. In 2000, as Google announced that it had indexed over a billion pages, I was taking surveys on a site called emode.com. The first quiz I took was “What Type of Dog are You?” I was a Golden Retriever.

I didn’t realize it, but emode was a social networking site. Later owned by Tickle, Inc., Wikipedia says that they provided “self discovery and social networking services.” I slowly built a profile and made a few “friends” but didn’t accept any date invitations and never sent anyone any pictures. I actually met a friend on that site that I remain friends with to this day. I’ve never met him in person, but he was the one who typed “you should make a Friendster account. It’s fun.”

So I joined Friendster. The personality quizzes gave way to testimonials written by people who knew you in real life and who had known you on the Internet long enough to say something nice about you. You posted pictures of yourself. You looked up ex boyfriends and ex friends and long lost family members. Sometimes you found them.

I’d just gotten settled into Friendster when this same friend said “Hey, everyone’s moving over to MySpace.” I said I didn’t want to go over to MySpace. But those customization options were too tempting and I caved. You could post songs to your profile and change your background. You could pick who your “Top Friends” were (a pressure-filled task) and you could have your own blog. I started blogging there, almost lost a job over it in 2005, and this blog was born in its first Blogspot iteration soon after.

In January 2008, based on an invitation from the same friend who lovingly dragged me into every social media platform I’ve actively participated in (you know who you are :)), I joined Facebook. Since then I have shared probably way too much information (though not nearly as much as a lot of people I know), have watched friends go through breakups and heartbreak, have gone through the same thing myself, and have, on the balance, had a pretty good time on it.

My friends are generous with their likes and comments. They cheer me up most days. While it’s not like it used to be (what is?) it’s still a nice place to “be.”

Lately, Buzzfeed and Zimbio have had personality quizzes clogging up everyone’s feed. “What Game of Thrones Character Are You?” and “What Disney Princess Are You” have provided delight to some, a cause for disdain and complaint for others.

But today, I saw it. “What Kind of Dog Are You?” Social media, for me, has come full circle.

And, apparently I’m a Lab.

Screen shot 2014-01-30 at 12.42.15 PM

I Might Be A Jerk

So the other day I was having lunch with my mom at Ukrop’s Martins and we were eating in the little atrium eating-in area and there were these guys around my age washing the windows.  Now, before you go jumping down my throat a whole bunch, I have nothing against those who do physical cleaning or fixing type things for a living.  I’ve often thought that I might should (yes, I did that just there) do such things, as my brain gets awfully tired, and I once worked in warehouses and found great pleasure in lifting, placing, packing, and putting.  Alas, I love writing and researching and playing with the interwebs, so I do what a I do and I say thank you for it.

Anyway.  I’m sitting there, noticing that the windows are being washed, appreciating that fact, thinking about that commercial where the guy who washes windows has a cold and that wee older man gets blown on to the platform where he’s washing windows and gives him this big pep talk.  Have you seen this commercial?

I’m thinking about this commercial, and I’m thinking about the panes of glass on the TOP of the room, and guessing that these guys aren’t going to clean those because if they were they would have done it BEFORE they did the bits they were doing just then (drips would have dripped, you know) and I notice that one of the guys is outside, squeegeeing, and he has a Camel dangling off his lip and a T-Shirt that says “Quit Work, Make Music.”

Quit Work Make Music
like this t shirt, but on a dude

So I comment to my mom, “here is a guy who is not afraid to present to the world the typical Richmond stereotype of guys my age.”  Because a lot of guys my age would much rather play music than work at jobs where squeegees are involved.  Heck, who can blame them?

But I felt bad for saying that.  The second it came out of my mouth.  Because who am I to judge that guy?  Do I think he ought to have been doing his job whilst burning a heater right there outside the Ukrop’s Martins eating area?  Probably not, but if nobody at Martins complained, it was nunmy.  I know that in my husband’s business, carpenters and contractors are not allowed to go about their business in that manner, but whatever, right?    Was it any of my business that the guy wears to work a shirt that says most definitively that he would rather be doing something else than what he is doing?  Nope.  That’s none of my business either.  Was it kind of me to say that the guys of my generation comprise a stereotype that supports the sentiment of said t-shirt?  No.  It is simply none of my business.  So, I’m sorry, Smoking T-Shirt Squeegee Operating Man.  I shouldn’t judge you any more than you should judge me for all the things you could judge me for, which are numerous and too depressing and wordy to list here.

I don’t want to be a cynic, or bitter, or jaded.  I used to be a person who was full of wonder and believed the best about everybody, even when they proved me wrong a hundred times.  I need to find the balance between nativity and kindness.  Keeping the kindness whilst ceasing to be a sucker.  Because since there’s one of THOSE born every minute, I think I’ll drop out of the ranks.

**incidentally, it’s the Hubs’ birthday today, so even though he never reads my blog, Happy Birthday, Hubs.  I wish I could buy you a boat.

***also, the other night, for some unexplained reason, I went back and read a bunch of myspace messages from 2004.  boy, was that a mistake.  I thought about making that a whole post, but realized that I’d have to go into detail, and I don’t really want to because it wouldn’t really accomplish anything and I’m already depressed about the messages I read, so why make myself even more depressed?  It just sucks to remember that at one time you had a friend who, though professing to love you and think you were great, was also willing to believe the very worst about you, because that person pretty much believed you were delusional and a big fat liar.  So.  That lends credence to that whole idea that I might be a jerk, but based on my late night past myspace message research, apparently this jerk thing is not a new development, so I shouldn’t be too surprised.

**Also, I don’t want a lot of comments about how you don’t think I’m a jerk, or how you’re so glad that I wrote this, because you’ve been meaning to tell me what a jerk you think I am.  I mean, if you feel super compelled to leave one, leave one, but nothing to stroke my ego because I’m really not looking for validation here, I just had a deep thought to share and thought I’d share it.  Maybe you have thoughts sometimes about your generation and think “Hey, does that make me a a traitor?”  Or maybe you really wanted to watch that Halls commercial again, and you got to just now.  So you’re welcome for that.

**Also, in the suggested tags for this post, “role playing” and “video games” were suggested, so who is profiling now, hmm?

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Old Blog Posts – Maggots and Improv Comedy

This is a myspace blog post from June 22, 2006.  I still think maggots are nasty.  In fact, I am uncomfortable every time I see a fly in the house, because I am sure it will lay some eggs someplace and there will be maggots.

I was just watching an episode of “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” and it was that bit when there is a green screen with one of the guys standing in front of it and there is something going on behind them but they can’t see it–they have to guess what is going on based on the other actor’s clues and the audience response.  Colin Mockery was up there with maggots behind him, and he guessed it correctly!

This is because maggots are the grossest ever.  He guessed maggots because nothing could have been that universally nasty.

maggots and worms

I had this apartment on Floyd Avenue, and it was on the second floor.  Sometimes I’d put my trash out on the back deck, and when it piled up I’d go out back, position the trash can under the deck, and then go back upstairs and toss the bags of garbage into the trash can below.

Once time I went out there to check the level of trash, and I noticed some pink and naked squirmies beside a partially open bag of trash.  Augh!  Maggots!  I already had a fear of these guys, as I had an apartment on Vine St. with the same sort of trash situation, and I was really depressed and REALLY let the trash pile up.  Maggots.  But the trash out back of the Floyd apartment was only about a day old.  It was hot outside, and there were steak bits in the trash, so…Maggots.

The particular incident on Floyd Avenue happened while is was on the phone with a friend.  I was giriping and squealing about the maggoty maggots,and my friend (Curtis) said, “Why would you be afraid of maggots?  They’re just fly puppies.”

Brilliant.  This did nothing to cure me of my disgust regarding maggots, but it locked in the certainty that if I ever belong to another band, it will be called Fly Puppies.

Maggots are so gross.  I know that they do have some medicinal value, in that they only eat dead flesh.  So, if you’ve got some nasty infected wound, maggots are your friend, as they will eat all the infected dead stuff, and leave your healing, not rotting skin alone.  Great.  Can you imagine what that feels like?  Maggoty maggots squirming inside your infected ankle wound?  I mean, really.  I hate antibiotics as much as the next person, but I DO have an ickiness threshold.  I really do.

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